It's no secret that more and more I really, really, really dislike Facebook. One reason I dislike it so much is one I haven't shared yet: it's the soapbox platform that Facebook gives to people that otherwise I like and respect. This is what set me off today:
Yeah, the kid grabbing a handful of candy may have poor fine motor skills. He may also be a greedy little s.o.b. in sore need of some polite, gentle correction. I will surely be nice about it, but I don't have to let it slide. Then if Mom or Dad steps in and says, "I'm so sorry, but Timmy has poor fine motor skills," I can sympathize with them while I nicely ask them to give back a portion of the giant wad of Kit-Kats Timmy just seized. After all, IT'S EVERYONE'S HALLOWEEN, right? So let's save a few Kit-Kats for the other kids, okay?
"Motor planning issues?" I have no idea what in Hell those are. I'm happy to choose for Timmy if too much of my home's heat is leaching out into the cold Halloween night. Again, if Timmy is that limited, Mom or Dad needs to be there to tell me that Timmy prefers M&M's. Same goes double for the allergy problem. If all I have left is PayDays and Timmy has an anaphylactic peanut reaction just thinking about elephants, Mom or Dad needs to be there to spot for him. IT'S NOT MY FREAKING PROBLEM! But if Mom or Dad is polite enough to explain the situation to me, I'll gladly drop a few bucks into Timmy's goody sack instead. At our house we actually make sure that we have a few bucks set aside for just such a situation. Just because I don't have the "right" treat is no excuse for a kid to pull a face. That's just rude. And Mom and Dad should have dealt with teaching what is polite long before they all arrived at my door.
I'm also not some a-hole who snidely asks kids, "What do you say?" when I pass out candy. (No, I saved that for my own kid when I took her trick-or-treating. You know, to teach her proper manners.) Silence is just fine. Ringing a stranger's doorbell to ask for a handout is terrifying enough. And I don't give a flying jump at the Moon whether or not your kid has a costume. I've been so poor as a kid that I couldn't swing a costume. You ring my bell on Trick or Treat Night, you get candy. Period. That's how I do it, and that's how my friends and neighbors do it. In my neighborhood, it wouldn't be Halloween if we didn't get a passel of uncostumed teens ringing the bell for a candy handout. Half of 'em only barely mumble "Trick or treat," and maybe as many mutter a thank-you. I don't care! It's Halloween! I choose to give out treats to whoever comes to my door. For me, that's what it's all about. In other words, if I had a problem with passing out candy, I wouldn't answer the door.
Yes, "it's everyone's Halloween." So could we please not PC all of the fun out of an already besieged holiday? The religious nuts who are convinced that it's Satan's Birthday (because they apparently don't realize that "Halloween" is an archaic form of "Hallowed (as in "holy") Evening," but that's another column for another day) already make celebrating Halloween enough of a pain. But I digress. My point is, I'm already "nice" and "patient" when I answer the door, and I don't need a smug, superior-attitude reminder to behave that way. I don't think anybody does. The folks who do aren't the type who answer the door on trick-or-treat night. They leave the porch light off and go to the movies, and good riddance.
What it all boils down to is, yes, I need to treat the kids who ring my doorbell with the respect and kindness I would want shown to my own children. But it's not all on me. The people trick-or-treating have just as much of a responsibility to treat me in accordance with the Golden Rule as well.
Because it's everyone's Halloween.